Ezekiel 38-39

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Ezekiel 38-39

Post  A Bible Student on Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:04 am

Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 describe a war with various nations against Israel.  This time the war isn’t an Arab-Israeli war.  The players are completely different and so is the motivation behind the attack.  Unfortunately, some of its major players are from ancient regions that are vaguely known in modern times.  Of all the northern countries listed, the only one I am very confident about is Turkey.  The further north the conclusions of others go, the more disputed they are.

Ezekiel 38:1-3
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
These are our first players.  Gog/the land of Magog, is noted as being the chief prince of Mesech and Tubul.  In the forum of Ancient Placenames we see that it is believed by some that Mesech and Tubal were located in the area just north of Turkey, in modern-day Georgia.  Other sources believe Mesech and Tubal are areas wholly inside Turkey.  But we have a general region at least; northeast Turkey and/or southwest Georgia.  Magog is believed to be the region north of the black sea, which would be the Ukraine or southern Russia.

The name Gog, however, is only ever mentioned in reference to Gog/Magog wars except for in one genealogy unrelated to Magog or the rest of the nations listed here.  This warrants further study.  Who is Gog?  Some claim that Gog is a reference to “the antichrist”.  However, Gog is mentioned in a war after the final beast empire has been destroyed by Christ a thousand years previous, after his 1000 year reign just prior to the second resurrection.

Revelation 19:20
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:7-9
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
This rules out Gog being the final ruler of the beast empire.  Let’s look at the phrase ‘chief prince’ to see if this sheds any further light on who Gog may be.  The only other place where ‘chief prince’ is used is in Daniel.  Please note however, that the original words used are not identical, but they mean basically the same, as far as I can tell.

Daniel 10:13
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
This verse may not sound unusual until you understand that it is an angel speaking to Daniel.  A prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood an angel for three weeks.  Only another spirit being could succeed in this task.  He also mentions Michael, the only warrior angel of God that we know by name, as being one of the chief princes and that Michael came to help the angel speaking to Daniel.  It is very possible, then, that Gog is referring to a spirit that busies itself with the affairs of a nation or nations to the north of Israel.

Continuing on with Ezekiel chapter 38 where we left off, we’ll see the rest of the players in this conflict.

Ezekiel 38:4-7
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
Our list of nations is now complete: Iran (Persia), Sudan (Ethiopia), Libya, and Turkey (Gomer and Togarmah).  With these, we have the four compass points covered; Turkey (and perhaps Georgia and Russia) to the north, Iran to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
This gives the general time period for this war, in the latter years after Israel (as the nation, not necessarily the 10 lost tribes) is back in the land, brought back from the sword, and populated with people brought in from many nations.  This could be today.  However, they will also be living safely.  The word safely is rendered “securely” in the New American Standard Bible.  This is definitely not a description of Israel of today.  Something will need to occur before all of Israel as a nation could feel secure.

Ezekiel 38:9-12
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
Here again Ezekiel speaks of Israel living confidently.  Presently, Israel is the process of building walls between themselves and their neighbors to the northeast.  In Ezekiel 38, they are noted as having no walls.  Something dramatic would have to happen for Israel to take them down.

This section also notes the motivation of the attack; to take spoil and to take prey.  This phrase is rendered “to capture spoil and to seize plunder” in the New American Standard Bible (NASB).  Unlike the Arab-Israeli wars, which simply want to see Israel off the face of the earth, this war has a purely materialistic motive.

Ezekiel 38:13
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
We’ve noted in the forum of Ancient Placenames that Dedan refers to northern Saudi Arabia, Sheba to southern Saudi Arabia, and Tarshish to a gentile merchant nation to the west of Judea.  Here we see Saudi Arabia and the ‘West?’ speaking against the attack, condemning it, but not intervening.

Ezekiel 38:14-15
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
The New Amercan Standard Bible (NASB) translates ‘the north parts’ as ‘remote parts of the north’ indicating that it is far north, which lends credence to the belief that Magog refers to Russia.

Ezekiel 38:16
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
This verse reinforces the conclusion that the fulfillment of this prophecy will be in the future being that it will be in ‘the latter days’.  It also gives God’s motivation for allowing the attack to take place.  It is a demonstration to the unsaved that He is indeed the Almighty God.  This isn’t his wrath.  It isn’t to rid the world of evil doers, it is to turn others to repentance and deliverance.

Ezekiel 38:17-23
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?  And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.  For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.  And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.  And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.  Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Here God works against the enemy army by infighting and perhaps geological, astronomical, or supernatural means.  Whatever He does, it catches the attention of world.

Ezekiel 39:1-7
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.  Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.  Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.  And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.  So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
At the end of this event, only 1/6 of the armies amassed against Israel are left standing.  After this, not only the heathen are recognizing God’s handiwork, but so is Israel.  This cannot be Israel defeating the armies by its own power.  If this is the Gog war mentioned after the 1000 year reign of Christ, isn’t it a bit late for Israel to stop polluting God’s holy name?  Wouldn’t they have caught on when Christ delivered them prior to his reign on earth?

Ezekiel 39:8-10
Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.  And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.
If this is the Gog war mentioned after the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth, this would be the time of the final judgments and when a new heaven and earth are set up.  Will Israel still need a source of power for seven years?

Also, the seven year period is significant.

Daniel 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The final period of time in Daniel’s seventy ‘week’ prophecy, as we will see in the section on the sixth trumpet (forthcoming), is a period of seven years.

Ezekiel 39:11-16
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.  And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.  Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.  And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.  And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.  And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.
This describes the clean-up effort after the ‘war’.  All of Israel goes out for seven months to bury the dead, then after seven months only certain men are hired to continue the work.  Many say that the clean-up effort starts after seven months because of nuclear fallout.  This would mean that, first, Israel used its own power to destroy the army, and second, when Almighty God who never lies says ‘all the people of the land shall bury them’ He was really just kidding.

Ezekiel 39:17-20
And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.  Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.  And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.  Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
If Israel used nukes, where did all this wildlife come from?

Ezekiel 39:21-29
And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.  So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.  And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.  According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.  When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.  Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Israel will turn from a secular nation to a spiritual one at this point in time.  If this were after the 1000 year reign of Christ, they would certainly have known that God is ‘the LORD their God’ for generations already.  But how could the nation of Israel be living confidently before the reign of Christ?  Perhaps they had recently won a significant amount of land from an Arab-Israeli war.  This would also explain why their Arab enemies aren’t mentioned as being involved.

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All of my quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

A Bible Student

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Join date : 2012-06-26

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